The Approach to Fall Essentials
Fall is my favorite season, at least here where I live in Illinois. Reason being is that the temperature shifts are rather dramatic and varied. Thursday was sunny in the high seventies and then Friday was a cold grey rainy hellscape that touched on forty degrees.
The reason that’s great is because it allows you to get the absolute most out of your wardrobe. Nothing is packed away and unusable. Light spring clothes are just as much an option as heavier sweaters. And what’s even more amazing is that you can look out on the street and see people in one or the other if the weather is cooperating. A brisk fall day is as likely to treat me to women in thicker fall outfits as it is to skirts and spring attire. That and the sweaters… every woman looks stunning in a shape hugging sweater.
(Odette Yustman, illustrate my point please)
But for me there are some essentials that cannot be skipped. They’re the pieces that scream “Autumn” and exemplify the season as clearly as Christmas Trees do for Winter.
The most important thing to understand is that the colors for Autumn clothing vary from those of the other three seasons. Each season’s color is unique and Autumn is no exception to that. What you’re looking for is COLOR. Autumn’s fashion is inspired by the changing colors of leaves. What’s happening in the leaf is that the veins keep on functioning while the surrounding tissue dies and that creates the fractal colors you see in the plants. And eventually even the veins die and the whole thing turns. The colors you want to be wearing one the ones that you’d see on those trees when late September and early October roll around.
Let’s take a look at what I can’t live without:
What is it, really? Corduroy isn’t anything more that velvet with ridges in the material. Most Corduroy patterns contain around ten to eleven ridges per inch. You need that many because any fewer will result in something that looks less like clothing and more like an orderly trench system made for tiny soldiers.
(Typical day on a bad pair of Cords)
The colors are usually darker and cover the usual spectrum of Fall colors. I myself have two pairs, dark brown and burnt orange.
The beauty of Cords, they’re warm. Autumn has a way of switching up the temp real quick on you and Cords, in my opinion, are warmer than jeans and chinos. If you know you’re facing a colder day try these. Make sure you have a good number of ridges in the pattern (the more the better) and try and pick a rich Autumn color. They should fit close just like your jeans should. Fortunately Cords typically don’t have a “boot cut” equivalent like jeans do. Also, just so you understand, Cords are on the same level of formality as jeans. So if you have an Autumn job interview or an important date to go on just know that a pair of Cords is no different than wearing a pair of jeans.
So the 7th Earl of Cardigan is who this item is named after. He’s the guy who led the charge of the Light Brigade. That’s the kind of fact that will get you places. (not a fact)
(“Hey Brah, I seen you killing all those dudes earlier and I was wondering where you got that sweet sweater?)
All a Cardigan is when you get down to the bare bones of it is a sweater with an open front that can be buttoned. These come in so many styles its impossible to really lock them all down but the basics are probably the shawl collar or just the plan laying variety. I love both. I own both.
In my book, Banana Republic is pretty much the undisputed champion of mens Fall Fashion and that includes the Cardigan. They have some really great zip front Merino Cardigans that are priced really nicely after you get one of their typical 30% off coupons codes on it.
What I like about the Cardigan is that it allows you to still show off the shirt beneath without completely covering it. It’s a perfect layering piece for people that know how to do it well. It’s also one of those things that plays well into the temperature changes. It’s easily removed if the temp is high and light enough to carry around unencumbered where as a jacket or coat can be a bit bulky to carry on a warn Autumn day.
This is pretty important for practical reasons as well as for fashion sake.
From a practicality standpoint you won’t be wearing it long. Fall teeters on the edge of being warming enough to skip a jacket much of the time so first ask yourself can you get by with a sweater rather than some heavier outerwear? If so, do it. You’ll thank yourself later when you aren’t bogged down with having to carry extra layers.
But from a fashion standpoint you want something that will mesh well with all the colors you have going on… or should have going on. If you happened to go with darker colors like browns and greys this is where your color can come in. It will be the most noticeable pop of color you have and it will draw a lot of attention, good attention. Remember what we always talk about here, be bold and look good. But be comfortable with people taking notice.
Now if you go the other way and already have on a lot of color you need to wear something that’s not going to clash with it all. Try jackets with a single darker color, all brown or all grey. Avoid black if possible. The colors you have on won’t blend well against black. They’ll just stand out in a very stark fashion so unless that’s your intention try and avoid it. Although all black and than some intense orange isn’t a bad way to go for a Halloween Office or House Party if its not a costume affair.
Try for something light and comfortable like a non-traditional Pea Coat or a Trench coat. Even a waxed canvas type jacket in dark brown. Macy’s INC and Tasso Elba lines have some great choices in the area of Pea Coats and Trenches.
Here’s a few examples of things I was able to put together and have worn over the years.
There it is. Simple I know but sometimes that’s just how fashion needs to be. A few key items that express the idea you’re after. One piece saying it all is worth every penny compared to a menagerie of details that collapses under its own weight. And that’s my approach to Autumn Fashions. I’d love to hear yours.